This year’s Richard Dimbleby Lecture was given by Nobel Prize winner and President of the Royal Society, Sir Paul Nurse.
The annual lecture, which was screened on BBC 1, was founded in memory of the well-known broadcaster and is delivered every year by an influential public figure.
Sir Paul delivered this, the 36th lecture, exploring the wonder of science and how it enhances our culture and civilisation. Sir Paul also discussed how science can not only help solve the world’s big problems, but also be harnessed to improve health, quality of life and the strength of the UK’s economy.
Introducing the lecture at the beginning of the evening, David Dimbleby referrenced the work that has been done by Dimbleby Cancer Care, set up in his father’s name after his death at 52 to research cancer issues including the setting up of the Richard Dimbleby labaratory at Kings College. Sir Paul’s work in the field of cell division won him his Nobel Prize in 2001, a subject very pertinent to cancer treatment and research.
Sir Paul summed up his belief in the vital importance that science must play in all our lives.
“I am passionate about science because it has shaped the world and made it a better place, and I want to see science placed more centre stage in our culture and economy. Our present economic troubles have promoted a debate about the future of our economy, and that future must include a major role for science. We need a new Enlightenment, an Enlightenment for the 21st century, and Britain is the place to do it with its history of freedom, rationality, and scientific achievement.”
For a full transcript of the lecture, please go to 2012 Richard Dimbleby Lecture